When he testified Friday before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said under oath that he had “no idea” mailboxes and sorting machines were being removed from post offices across the country, according to the Associated Press, adding:
“I was made aware when everyone else was made aware.”
That led Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who serves as chairman of the committee, to defend DeJoy, remarking:
“So this isn’t some devious plot on your part.”
But ask yourself a question: If DeJoy is the postmaster general, how did he not know what was taking place across the U.S. Postal Service? Did lower-level employees decide to pull mailboxes and take sorting machines offline on their own? Would you be willing to risk your job by making such a dramatic decision without blessings from your superiors, including the postmaster general?
There’s a much larger problem with what DeJoy told the committee on Friday: If there’s a single piece of paper or an employee of the Postal Service that can prove the postmaster general lied, then he committed perjury.
And we could know as soon as Monday if indeed DeJoy did lie under oath today. Because he’ll be appearing before a House committee on August 23, and his reception will be much less cordial than the one he received from Sen. Johnson and other members of the GOP on Friday.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said she’s convinced DeJoy committed perjury:
Louis DeJoy flat-out lied to the Senate today about the changes he’s implemented at the @USPS, refused to cooperate with requests for documents, and rejected the idea of fixing his damage. Enough is enough: the Board of Governors must remove DeJoy & reverse his acts of sabotage.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) August 21, 2020
Granted, if the postmaster general did lie under oath, there’s almost no chance that Attorney General William Barr or the Justice Department would charge him, but as soon as Joe Biden is elected and appoints a new AG, DeJoy could indeed be hit with perjury charges and wind up behind bars for a very long time. Unless, of course, he wants to implicate others such as Donald Trump himself.
We’ve all heard talk of a “perjury trap” when a person gives testimony. It means that a prosecutor obtains a false answer from a witness by illegal means, and it’s incredibly difficult to prove.
But in the case of Louis DeJoy, he may well have fallen into a perjury trap of his own creation. How’s that for irony?